Friday, December 16, 2022

Fruitcake Cookies, Gazebo, Medieval Times, and a Family Friday!

Wednesday night Louis Dean  and I spent an hour - or more like two - out in the gazebo finishing it up.

He has the patience of Job and doesn't get the least bit frustrated at untangling lights!
I wad them up every year and he untangles them! 

Some years the gazebo has been the first 'room' to dress for Christmas - this year it was the last and I used whatever I had left over - such as these snowmen Amber, Benjamin and I made back in the 90's.

My rustic Santa goes well outside!

Louis Dean fashioned a wreath to cover up the pumpkin in the WELCOME sign.
You can see my sewing chair just inside the door where I have been stitching up stockings!
All my gifts are going into stockings as I did this same thing last year and I liked it!
No fussing and wrapping - just slide the gifts down inside.

Our gazebo has been neglected this entire year!
Louis Dean and I have spent so many happy hours out here and, in Texas, we can usually sit just about any time of the year.

This is another memory tree featuring ornaments from Summer and my oldest grands.

Thursday morning we got up early and were all prepared and waiting for our Master plumber Mark to come between 12:00-2:00. He arrived at 12 and left at 2:00!
He is amazing and did such a good job at a good price.
Mark loved our 'Christmas House' and took pictures and video and FaceTime his wife and gave her a tour. I sent him home with cookies and Christmas cards - both this year and three for past years.
I wrote my blog address on the back of one and invited her to visit.
I think she and I may be kindred spirits because she loves Christmas, Santas and collecting!

So while Mark worked, I played Christmas music and baked cookies and pumpkin muffins.

Summer and Rayne came in the afternoon and I was happy I had the pumpkin muffins hot from the oven! They are Rayne's favorite.

Son Jesse came over later and updated my laptop and tweaked it all.....
he is better than any Geek Squad!

Then he turned his attention to Louis Dean as his laptop 'bit the dust' as the sound would not work.
So Jesse researched new ones and before we got to the point of ordering one - Louis Dean's old one started working again. I believe he had it plugged in wrong or something.
Anyway - good news we can wait on a laptop since we had other special expenses this month!

Rayne's birthday was in June and an evening at Medieval Times was her gift -
but life circumstances prevented that from happening - until Thursday night!!

At the last minute, one of the 13 members of the party attending was unable to go so Sabrina asked me if I wanted to come.

Indeed, I DID!!!!

We arrived early so as not to miss the Knighting Ceremonies.
Here is Rayne with the Queen being knighted the Friend of the Dragon!

We all had the best time and Rayne had a ball!

She had done her research and knew all about where and how the horses were trained 
(all training is done here in Dallas) and what was what!
We were friends of the Green Knight! Can you tell?
And this is Rayne's party of 13!

She's the one with the camera taking a video.
Do you know she has her own YouTube channel??
I'll ask her if I can share her info.
It's all about her and the horses and her dog Sunshine and the rescue organizations she works with.
Rayne is an absolutely amazing young lady and I could not be prouder of her.

I believe she said they offer three menus and this is the one she chose.
Every thing was absolutely delicious!!!!
Seriously good!!!

It was a spur of the moment opportunity and I am so glad I said YES!!!

This morning (Friday) was another 'Get up and Get With it' kind of morning.
We had our coffee and bagel out in the den with the heater on as it was 62 degrees in the house.
We don't use the central heat very often. It has to be SERIOUSLY cold to turn it on!

LD and I spent the afternoon in Fort Worth.
I'm remembering all those Beauty Shop runs with Mother for years - every Friday.
Then the visits at Trail Lake Nursing Home and then visiting Lillian after Mother died.

We had some errands to do and some loved ones to see.

We stopped at the bank to cash a check - I know! I am so Old School!!
Then we dropped off goodies at Mike's house and Sheryl who lives next door and I always called her 'Nita's special next door neighbor.'
This was hard - I'm not going to lie. It will get better as time goes by - but I'm not there yet.

I assumed Mike was at work so I was surprised when I started to leave to see him coming over to the car. It was so GOOD to see him. He looks good and I think I hugged him four times. We didn't say a lot but we communicated. I love Mike. He was the love of Nita's life and I never heard her criticize him - NOT ONE SINGLE time. Makes me ashamed of myself.
Nita always thought the best of just about everyone and she ALWAYS looked on the bright side and saw the silver lining to every situation.

From there we went to Hobby Lobby and Louis Dean stayed in the car while I went in and had a grand time! 70% off of Christmas.....I may have filled my buggy completely up! 

I seldom go to liquor stores but when I do - Total Wines in Fort Worth on Hulen Street is my favorite.
When I was making my fruitcake cookie dough, I noticed I was out of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum.
I usually use that instead of the milk the recipe calls for. That was Nita's favorite.
There was also something I wanted to get for a certain someone for Christmas so that was on list.

Maybe because it was Friday afternoon - I don't know - but they had lots of tables set up offering samples of this or that.

We tried a new version of something like tequila made with a plant in west Texas similar to cactus.
I can't remember what it was - I sipped mine and then the rest of Louis Dean's.

There was another one that offered samples of something or other and we tried that.

Then we came to this pretty lady who was serving bubbly wine.
By this time, LD was grumbling a bit because we were still looking for the reason I was there in the first place. Anyway, she was describing the wines and all and another lady and I told her which two we wanted to try and then she asked Louis Dean, "Would you like to try a sample, sir?"
He shoved his buggy over to her and announced in a loud voice, "YES, I would!!"

She laughed so hard!!! We all did! By this time we were drawing a small crowd!
When she offered to take his empty cup, he said he wanted to keep it! And MINE, too!
She asked why and I said, "He collects trash!"
Then I said, "Seriously, I use them to put his medicine in to take so he can tilt it into his mouth because if I put it in his hand - he TOSSES it in and pills can fly everywhere!"

She reached under the table and brought out a whole package of fresh cups!!

We had so much fun!
I asked to take a picture and the other friendly lady took it for us so I could be in it, too.
Then the saleslady got her phone and there's another pic - this time with me holding the bottle of wine.
She said her company was going to love that!!!

From there we went to see my brother Lonnie.

He is looking good and doing well.
Michele was out so we didn't get to see her but their granddaughter, Katy, dropped by.
She's 12 years old and growing up so fast.
Are ALL grandchildren doing that these days???

Last stop was to see Sister Deanie and Charlie.

We had a good visit and we all hugged and talked and laughed.

Back in 2012 when the quads were born, Louis Dean rode home from Houston with Deanie.
I don't know what happened to them but they bonded for LIFE on that road trip!!
They still talk about how much fun they had and how they laughed and joked all the way home.
And it's a tradition for me to take a pic of them together!
I forgot the last time we came over - but this time I remembered!!

Dean also shared this pic of her and Lonnie with me.
She has a grand  dog named Winston and she takes him with her and then tells Trish they are at a park.
Deanie laughed when she said Trish noticed the headstones in the background and knew they were at a cemetery!!!

The mother of our step-father was named Annie Collins and she's buried at this cemetery.
They have looked for her marker before but  this time they found it.
She was a real Grandma to us under very difficult circumstances and always kind to us.

We made it back home shortly after 5:00 this afternoon before dark!!
Deanie's birthday is on Tuesday the 21st - the winter solstice. 

It was so good to get out and see my siblings and Mike and Charlie.
It was a good day.

And now it's just a week before Christmas Eve so I have been sewing stockings all evening.
I'm going to go back to it now and do two more.
That will leave just two more to do tomorrow!

Christmas is coming!!!


Hootin Anni said...

Extraordinary!! Your "adventures" in life (even just in one day) astounds me. To have and do so much in one day ...well, life is filled with joy!!!
Love the liquor store we have here too. (And it's next door to guess what? Hobby Lobby!!!)

Brenda said...

Haven’t been to Hobby Lobby since moving to Florida but love them…i downsized when sold the house. Never been to a liquor store…you have adventures everywhere…amazing…close family…you are amazing.

Kathy said...

My sister took me to Medieval Times years ago. I still remember how much fun it was. I was rooting for the green knight also. I'm so flad you got to go.

You do more running around in one day than I do in a month. So glad you got to see everyone. It's important to keep in touch with our families.

Changes in the wind said...

So glad you got the plumbing problem taken care of and am sure LD is thrilled. Cleaver how the gazebo turned out with all the "left overs". Glad you were able to visit your loved ones and the am sure the lady at total wines loved your visit.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You make every outing fun...even running errands! Take care and enjoy your weekend! I know you enjoy life and what a difference that makes for everyone that knows you! Hugs, Diane

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

We are having our family Christ celebration today and there is just a little snow on the ground. It's very cold out and no more sitting outside for us. It'll be a long winter now inside the house. What lovely pictures today of all your families smiles ! It's what makes the holidays extra special !

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Opps sorry that should read family Christmas today !

Arlene G said...

What a fun day you had, Linda. You and LD bring smiles where ever you go. A tip for those lights...I take those velvet covered hangers and I wind my lights around them ....One string per hanger. I saw that tip on another you tubers channel and It works!! I just put all my hangers in a separate tub. But then if untangling the lights keeps Louis Dean busy, I understand that as well. LOL I received your beautiful card yesterday and promptly placed it on my fridge so I can see it as I am working in the kitchen. Thanks so much!!

Vee said...

Your stories of everyday life make me grin. I love them! Glad that you got to see your sister and brother and your brothers-in-law. I have been praying for Mike. The evening out for Rayne's birthday looks so special. We don't have things like that up here. Yay for new plumbing and a laptop that is working again. It's the simple things. Glad the plumber enjoyed his time at The Christmas House.

Chatty Crone said...

I agree with the comments - your life in one day is simply amazing. I went to Medieval Times too and it was a lot of fun!

photowannabe said...

Whew!!! I'm out of breath from your fabulous day.
You accomplish more in one day than I do in an entire week.
Your family is so delightful. I'm glad you got to be with them.
Rayne's party looks like so much fun, I'm glad you got to go too, and the wine tasting adventure is a great story.
Life is good for you and each day is a treasure.
I think my Christmas cards are going to be New Year's card...the time is fleeting and I'm so far behind.

Rita said...

Lots of fun! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

Ginny Hartzler said...

What a time you've been having! You know how to get the most fun out of any occasion more than anyone I know! The gazebo is lovely. The children's flower pot snowmen look like new, after all these years! And what a super idea for Rayne's birthday. I have to say, I am exhausted just reading this post!!

Carole said...

Computer probs are just the pits - and they always seem to hit at the wrong time. Cheers

Wanda said...

You are truly the Energizer Bunny". I get tired of just following you around on your adventures. What a lovely blog, I could comment on every picture, but will just say...I love coming and visting you each day. Love and Hugs.